“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” ~ Carol Burnett
“Familiar things happen, and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” ~ Alfred North Whitehead
I love the Star Wars series. I love it because to me it’s one example of our modern mythology. The way I see mythology, the stories are created to help us understand who we are, where we came from, and why we’re here. And the Star Wars series is just one group of modern tales that attempt to do that.
If nothing else, what the popularity of the Star Wars franchise teaches us is that if we’re not open to change, we can get caught up in destructive thought patterns. Literature and movies are filled with characters who latch onto something they desperately want but can’t have, or that they fear will happen to them. Darth Vader is so afraid of losing first his mother, then Padme, that his fear left him vulnerable to the dark side. And we all know where that leads him. He’s miserable and because of that he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake, especially for those he professes to love. He’s a very sad figure. His teachers try to help him let go of his fear, but for some reason, he is unable to do so.
In a book I’m currently reading, Sidroc: The Dane, a side book in Circle of Ceridwin series by Octavia Randolph, Ingirith, Sidroc’s step mother, is so angry that she was not free to choose her own husband that it sucks not only her happiness, but that of the entire family. Hrald, her husband is a good, kind, honorable man. But she’s too filled with resentment. She can’t let go of the dreams she built up in her head. The result is that she is unable to open her heart. She can’t see that she chooses not to allow herself to be happy.
I’ve been thinking of lots of other stories with characters who blame their lot in life, or what they think is wrong in the world/universe, on outside circumstances because I’m preparing the dramatic structure class that I will be teaching next fall. Each movie I watch has characters who hold fast to their view of the world and then cause pain for themselves and others. I love teaching this class because I’m enough of a nerd to enjoy diving deep into the stories and characters to see if I can learn anything new about my own life.
Last weekend, Barry and I went to see Avengers: Endgame. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here.) Thanos, the villain, is convinced that there are not enough resources to go around for all the gazillions of people in the universe, so he devises a plan to eliminate half of all living things to right this imbalance. He sees the problem as outside himself. He’s not willing to entertain the idea that perhaps there are other solutions to the problems faced by the populations on each planet. Nope, he’s convinced he’s got the solution and nothing is going to stop him from fulfilling his plan. As a result, he wreaks havoc. He’s the only one who appears to be happier as a result of his actions. But as a spiritual teacher I follow says, “Darkness always serves the light.” And in the case of Thanos, and other fictional arch villains, that is the case. Maybe it’s the case in real life too.
I’ve got a character in Time’s Echo that is caught in a loop of destructive thinking. At first I created Morgan’s daughter, Georgiana, to show the stresses women face trying to balance care of home and family with work and involvement in worthy causes. Thanos, and Ingirith made me think about Georgiana in a new way. She was born with a chip on her shoulder and nothing Morgan and Seth do helps. In fact, their efforts to help her, cause her to dig in her heels even deeper.
I have to admit, I don’t understand people like that, however, we all know those kinds of people. Nothing is ever their fault and the world is out to get them. On the other hand, we all know people who bring joy to everything they do. When they enter a room, it feels lighter and even when these happy people are faced with extreme challenges, they manage to find the bright side of the situation.
It’s my opinion that we choose what Caroline Myss calls our “sacred contract”, before we’re born. Even though I don’t fully understand it, I think we do choose who we’re going to be in any given incarnation. And to me that indicates that there must be a reason we do this.
There is a theological system called Process Theology, developed from Alfred North Whitehead’s Process Philosophy that might explain what I’m trying to say. The main idea is that in part God grows and learns from what we experience. Which makes me think that we may be part of a huge experiment to see if we can grow as a species, or if we’ll crash and burn.
I’m fascinated by the mystery of life, the fact that we each have unique personalities, perspectives, and roles to play in each lifetime. I have to admit that if we were all the same, life would be extremely boring.
Thanks for reading my current musings. Writing fiction makes me examine almost everything that happens to me personally, and in the greater world. And then it all becomes compost for what I’m working on.
Welcome to my new followers. Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I hope you have a fabulous weekend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Only Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, instead of traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.